Title:
Storage case and file case
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A file case includes a body member for storing files therein in vertical position, a top end of the body member being opened; and a file support member attached to an upper portion of the body member and adapted to support the files such that hooks provided on upper portions of the files are hooked on the file support member. The file support member is pivotably or removably attached to the body member such that, through the file support member being pivoted outward or removed, an opening of the opened top end of the body member is expanded so as to allow a body member of another file case to be inserted into the body member. While the file support member is attached in place to the body member, a cover member is pivotably or removably attached to the body member from above.



Inventors:
Tanji, Hiroyuki (Kakuda-shi, JP)
Application Number:
10/252445
Publication Date:
04/03/2003
Filing Date:
09/24/2002
Assignee:
IRIS OHYAMA INC.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D21/06; B42F15/00; B65D6/04; B65D21/02; B65D25/00; B65D43/03; B65D43/16; (IPC1-7): B65D85/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ACKUN, JACOB K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SUGHRUE MION, PLLC (Washington, DC, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A storage case comprising: a body member for storing articles therein, a top end of said body member being opened; and an interior tray member attached to an upper portion of said body member and adapted to store small articles therein; wherein said interior tray member is pivotably or removably attached to said body member such that, through said interior tray member being pivoted outward or removed, an opening of the opened top end of said body member is expanded so as to allow a body member of another storage case to be inserted into said body member.

2. A storage case according to claim 1, wherein, while said interior tray member is attached in place to said body member, a cover member is pivotably or removably attached to said body member from above.

3. A storage case according to claim 1, wherein said body member is configured such that in addition to the top end thereof being opened, a front wall thereof is opened.

4. A file case comprising: a body member for storing files therein in vertical position, a top end of said body member being opened; and a file support member attached to an upper portion of said body member and adapted to support the files such that hooks provided on upper portions of the files are hooked on said file support member; wherein said file support member is pivotably or removably attached to said body member such that, through said file support member being pivoted outward or removed, an opening of the opened top end of said body member is expanded so as to allow a body member of another file case to be inserted into said body member.

5. A file case according to claim 4, wherein, while said file support member is attached in place to said body member, a cover member is pivotably or removably attached to said body member from above.

6. A file case according to claim 4, wherein said body member is configured such that in addition to the top end thereof being opened, a front wall thereof is opened.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention relates to a storage case allowing efficient storage of articles therein, wherein a plurality of the storage cases can be stacked compactly for, for example, transport or storage, as well as to a file case allowing efficient storage of files therein, wherein a plurality of the file cases can be stacked compactly for, for example, transport or storage.

[0003] 2. Description of the Related Art

[0004] Conventionally, a case for storing articles or files therein has been known. Such a case may include an interior tray for storing small articles or the like therein or a file support member for supporting files. When an interior tray is to be provided, the interior tray is integrally formed within the interior of the case, or a stepped tray rest for supporting a discrete interior tray is integrally provided within the interior of the case. When a file support member is to be provided, the member is usually integrally formed at an upper portion of the case.

[0005] However, the interior tray, stepped tray rest, or file support member hinders compact stacking of a plurality of the cases. Specifically, when the upper case is placed into the lower case, the interior tray, stepped tray rest, or file support member hinders the placement of the upper case into the lower case, so that the cases cannot be stacked. Therefore, the cases occupy a large space at the time of, for example, transport or sale at a store.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0006] An object of the present invention is to solve the above-mentioned problem involved in the conventional case and to provide a storage case and a file case allowing compact stacking for, for example, transport or sale at a store.

[0007] To achieve the above object, the present invention provides a storage case comprising a body member for storing articles therein, a top end of the body member being opened; and an interior tray member attached to an upper portion of the body member and adapted to store small articles therein. In the storage case, the interior tray member is pivotably or removably attached to the body member such that, through the interior tray member being pivoted outward or removed, an opening of the opened top end of the body member is expanded so as to allow a body member of another storage case to be inserted into the body member.

[0008] Employment of the above-described configuration yields the following effect. Pivoting the interior tray member outward or removing the interior tray member expands an opening of the opened top end of the body member, thereby allowing a body member of another storage case to be inserted into the body member. Therefore, a number of storage cases having their openings expanded can be stacked compactly.

[0009] Preferably, while the interior tray member is attached in place to the body member, a cover member is pivotably or removably attached to the body member from above.

[0010] Employment of the above-described configuration yields the following effect. After articles are stored in the interior of the body member and on the interior tray member, the cover member is attached to the body member of the storage case from above, thereby covering the interior of the body member and the interior tray member. When a second storage case is to be stacked on the first storage case, the cover member of the first storage is pivoted open or removed to thereby expand the opening of the opened top end of the body member of the first storage case. Thus, the body member of the second storage case can be inserted into the body member of the first storage case to thereby be stacked thereon.

[0011] Preferably, the body member is configured such that in addition to the top end thereof being opened, a front wall thereof is opened.

[0012] Employment of the above-described configuration yields the following effect. Not only can the user store articles in the interior of the body member through the opening of the opened top end of the body member, but the user can also visually check the contained articles or remove articles from or place articles in the interior of the body member through the opening of the opened front wall of the body member.

[0013] The present invention further provides a file case comprising a body member for storing files therein in vertical position, a top end of the body member being opened; and a file support member attached to an upper portion of the body member and adapted to support the files such that hooks provided at upper portions of the files are hooked on the file support member. In the file case, the file support member is pivotably or removably attached to the body member such that, through the file support member being pivoted outward or removed, an opening of the opened top end of the body member is expanded so as to allow a body member of another file case to be inserted into the body member.

[0014] Employment of the above-described configuration yields the following effect. Pivoting the file support member outward or removing the file support member expands an opening of the opened top end of the body member, thereby allowing a body member of another file case to be inserted into the body member. Therefore, a number of file cases having their openings expanded can be stacked compactly.

[0015] Preferably, while the file support member is attached in place to the body member, a cover member is pivotably or removably attached to the body member from above.

[0016] Employment of the above-described configuration yields the following effect. After documents or the like are stored in files, the cover member is attached to the body member of the file case from above, thereby covering the interior of the body member and the file support member. When a second file case is to be stacked on the first file case, the cover member of the first file case is pivoted open or removed to thereby expand the opening of the opened top end of the body member of the first file case. Thus, the body member of the second file case can be inserted into the body member of the first file case to thereby be stacked thereon.

[0017] Preferably, the body member is configured such that in addition to the top end thereof being opened, a front wall thereof is opened. Employment of the above-described configuration yields the following effect. Not only can a user store files in the interior of the body member through the opening of the opened top end of the body member, but the user can also visually check the contained files or remove files from or place files in the interior of the body member through the opening of the opened front wall of the body member.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0018] FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view showing a file case according to an embodiment of the present invention;

[0019] FIG. 2 is a perspective view showing the file case of FIG. 1 as viewed after a cover member is removed;

[0020] FIG. 3 is a perspective view showing the file case of FIG. 1 as viewed after the cover member is attached;

[0021] FIG. 4 is a perspective view showing a hinge portion of the file case of FIG. 1;

[0022] FIG. 5 is a sectional view of a main portion of the file case of FIG. 1, showing a file support member;

[0023] FIG. 6 is a sectional view of a main portion of the file case of FIG. 1, showing a file support member;

[0024] FIG. 7 is a sectional view of a main portion of the file case of FIG. 1, showing a hinge mechanism of a cover body;

[0025] FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the file case of FIG. 1, showing how the file case is used; and

[0026] FIG. 9 is an exploded perspective view showing a storage case according to an embodiment of the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0027] Embodiments of the present invention will next be described with reference to the drawings.

[0028] [File Case]

[0029] First, a file case according to an embodiment of the present invention will be described. As shown in FIGS. 1 to 4, a file case 1 is adapted to store files therein and includes a body member 2, a file support member 3, and a cover member 4.

[0030] The body member 2 is a housing which is open upward and adapted to store files therein in vertical position. The body member 2 includes a U-shaped front wall 6, side walls 7 and 8, a bottom wall 9, and a rear wall 10. A large rectangular opening 6A is formed in the front wall 6. A user can visually check, through the opening 6A, articles which have been stored in the interior of the body member 2 through a top opening of the body member 2, and can remove articles from or place articles in the interior of the body member 2 through the opening 6A. A number of through-holes 7A and 8A are formed in the side walls 7 and 8 for, for example, ventilation and design sake. The bottom wall 9 is formed flat and serves as a bottom of the body member 2. As in the case of the side walls 7 and 8, a number of through-holes 10A are formed in the rear wall 10 for, for example, ventilation and design sake. The front wall 6, the side walls 7 and 8, and the rear wall 10 are inclined outward in such a manner that the distance between the front wall 6 and the rear wall 10 and the distance between the side walls 7 and 8 increase toward the top end of the body member 2. Thus, a plurality of body members 2 can be stacked. Further, the body members 2 can be stacked such that an upper body member 2 is inserted deep into a lower body member 2 until foot portions of the upper body member 2 almost reach the bottom wall 9 of the lower body member 2.

[0031] A flange section 11 is formed along the entire top edge of the body member 2. Two pivot shafts 14, each of which partially constitutes a hinge mechanism 13 to be described later, are provided at each of two portions of the flange section 11 corresponding to the side walls 7 and 8. Also, two pivot shafts 14 of two hinge mechanisms 13 are provided at a portion of the flange section 11 corresponding to the rear wall 10.

[0032] The hinge mechanisms 13 are adapted to pivotably attach the file support member 3 and the cover member 4 to the body member 2. As shown in FIG. 4, each of the hinge mechanisms 13 includes a pivot shaft 14 provided at an edge of the flange section 11 and an engagement hook section 15 provided on the file support member 3 or the cover member 4. The engagement hook section 15 includes an engagement hook 15A and upper retainers 15B. The engagement hook 15A has a semicircular cross section and is engaged with the pivot shaft 14 from underneath. Each of the upper retainers 15B has a semicircular cross section and is engaged with the pivot shaft 14 from above.

[0033] The file support member 3 is attached to an upper portion of the body member 2 and adapted to support files 21 (see FIG. 8). As shown in FIGS. 1, 2, and 5 to 8, the file support member 3 includes a flange engagement section 23, a case support section 24, and a hook engagement section 25.

[0034] The flange engagement section 23 is engaged with the flange section 11 of the body member 2, whereby the file support member 3 is supported by means of the flange section 11. The flange engagement section 23 has a cross section resembling a squarish letter U so as to fit onto the flange section 11. Two engagement hook sections 15, each of which partially constitutes the hinge mechanism 13, are formed at an edge portion of the flange engagement section 23 in correspondence with the two pivot shafts 14. The engagement hook sections 15 are engaged with the corresponding pivot shafts 14, whereby the file support member 3 is pivotably supported by the body member 2. Through the file support member 3 being pivoted outward from the body member 2, an opening of the opened top end of the body member 2 is expanded such that the body member 2 of another file case 1 can be inserted deep into the body member 2 until foot portions of the inserted body member 2 almost reach the bottom wall 9 of the body member 2.

[0035] When file cases 1 are to be stacked while the cover members 4 thereof are removed, the case support section 24 is adapted to receive a foot portion of an upper file case 1. The case support section 24 is formed inside and sunk below the flange engagement section 23 while having dimensions that match the dimensions of a bottom portion of the body member 2 of another file case 1.

[0036] The hook engagement section 25 allows hooks 21A (see FIG. 8) provided at upper portions of files 21 to be hooked on the same, to thereby support the files 21. The hook engagement section 25 is formed inside and sunk below the case support section 24. The hook engagement section 25 has an H-shaped cross section. An inner vertical wall portion 25A of the hook engagement section 25 allows the hooks 21A of the files 21 to be hooked on the same.

[0037] As shown in FIGS. 1, 3, and 5 to 7, the cover member 4 is adapted to cover a top portion of the body member 2. The cover member 4 is pivotably attached to the body member 2 while covering a top portion of the body member 2. The cover member 4 is formed substantially flat and includes a flange engagement section 31, which is formed along a peripheral edge thereof The flange engagement section 31 forms a groove opened downward so as to fit onto the entire flange section 11 of the body member 2. Also, dimensions of the flange engagement section 31 are determined so as to match the dimensions of the flange engagement section 23 of the file support member 3. Thus, the cover member 4 can cover the body member 2 regardless of whether the file support member 3 is attached to the body member 2. Two engagement hook sections 15 of two hinge mechanisms 13 are formed at one side edge portion of the cover member 4. The two engagement hook sections 15 are engaged with the corresponding pivot shafts 14 provided at a portion of the flange section 11 corresponding to the rear wall 10 of the body member 2, whereby the cover member 4 is pivotably attached to the body member 2. The cover member 4 has an engagement depression 32 formed inside the flange engagement section 31. The engagement depression 32 is sunk below the flange engagement section 31, thereby allowing a bottom portion of the body member 2 of another file case 1 to rest thereon. Specifically, the engagement depression 32 assumes dimensions substantially equal to those of a bottom portion of the body member 2, so that a bottom portion of the body member 2 of an upper file case 1 can be stably fitted into the engagement depression 32. Therefore, the file cases 1 can be stably stacked.

[0038] [Operation]

[0039] The thus-configured file case 1 is used as described below.

[0040] As shown in FIG. 8, the file support member 3 is attached to the body member 2 of the file case 1. If the file support member 3 is in the state of being pivoted outward from the body member 2, the file support member 3 is pivoted inward such that the flange engagement section 23 is fitted onto the flange section 11.

[0041] In this state, the hooks 21A of the files 21 are hooked on the vertical wall portion 25A of the file support member 3, whereby the files 21 are stored within the body member 2 in vertical position. About 20 files 21 can be stored.

[0042] When all of the files 21 can be stored in a single file case 1, the cover member 4 is attached to the pivot shafts 14 provided at a portion of the flange section 11 corresponding to the rear wall 10 of the body member 2, followed by covering the body member 2 with the cover member 4 from above. The file case 1 is transported or stored.

[0043] When all of the files 21 cannot be stored in a single file case 1, the files are stored in a plurality of file cases 1, which are then stacked. In this case, the body member 2 of an upper file case 1 may be placed on the case support section 24 of the file support member 3 of a lower file case 1. Alternatively, the body member 2 of the upper file case 1 may be placed on the engagement depression 32 of the cover 4 attached to the lower file case 1. For transport, all of the file cases 1 are covered with the respective cover members 4 attached thereto. For storage, the file cases 1 are stacked, and the top file case 1 is covered with the cover member 4.

[0044] When a plurality of file cases 1 are to be stacked for, for example, transport or storage, the file support member 3 is pivoted outward from or removed from the body member 2 of a bottom file case 1. Also, the cover member 4 is pivoted outward from or removed from the body member 2. As a result, the opening of the opened top end of the body member 2 is expanded. Another file case 1 is inserted into the bottom file case 1 through the expanded opening. When still another file case 1 is to be inserted into the top file case 1, the file support member 4 and the cover member 4 are pivoted outward from or removed from the body member 2 of the top file case 1, followed by insertion of the additional file case 1 into the top file case 1.

[0045] [Effect]

[0046] As described above, the upper body member 2 can be inserted deep into the lower body member 2 without the file support member 3 and the cover member 4 being hindrances. In this manner, a number of file cases 1 can be stacked compactly.

[0047] Therefore, a large number of file cases 1 can be transported or displayed at a store at a time.

[0048] [Storage Case]

[0049] Next, a storage case 41 will be described. FIG. 9 perspectively shows the storage case 41.

[0050] The storage case 41 includes a body member 42 for storing articles therein, two interior tray members 43 for storing small articles therein, and a cover member 44 for covering the body member 42 from above. The body member 42 and the cover member 44 assume a structure similar to that of the body member 2 and the cover member 4 of the above-described file case 1.

[0051] The interior tray member 43 is adapted to store small articles therein and assumes the form of a pan. The interior tray member 43 includes a flange engagement section 45, which has a function similar to that of the flange engagement section 23 of the file support member 3 of the file case 1. The flange engagement section 45 includes two engagement hook sections 15 of two hinge mechanisms 13.

[0052] Members of the storage case 41 other than the interior tray member 43 are similar to those of the file case 1.

[0053] As in the case of the file case 1, articles are stored in the body members 42 and the interior tray members 43 of the storage case 41, and additional storage cases 41 are stacked thereon if necessary.

[0054] Further, a number of empty storage cases 41 are stacked while the interior tray members 43 and the covers 44 are pivoted outward from or removed from the corresponding body members 42.

[0055] In stacking, as in the case of the file cases 1, the upper body member 42 can be inserted deep into the lower body member 42 without the interior tray member 43 and the cover member 44 being hindrances. In this manner, a number of storage cases 41 can be stacked compactly.

[0056] Therefore, a large number of storage cases 41 can be transported or displayed at a store at a time.

[0057] [Modified Embodiments]

[0058] (1) The above-described file case 1 utilizes the file support members 3 of a single size. However, since the files 21 may have various sizes, a plurality of file support members 3 corresponding to the various file sizes are preferably prepared. The distance between the vertical wall portions 25A of two file support members 3 attached to the opposite ends of the body member 2 corresponds to the distance between the opposite hooks 21A of the file 21. Therefore, a plurality of file support members 3 are prepared in order to provide different distances between the vertical wall portions 25A that match the various sizes of the files 21 such as sizes A4 and B5. As a result, the file case 1 can store the files 21 of various sizes therein.

[0059] (2) The above-described file case 1 is configured in such a manner that the file support member 3 and the cover member 4 are pivotably attached to the body member 2 and are pivoted outward from the body member 2 to thereby expand an opening of the opened top end of the body member 2 for allowing the body member 2 of another file case 1 to be inserted into the body member 2 through the expanded opening. However, the file support member 3 and the cover member 4 may be removably attached to the body member 2. In this case, action and effect similar to those yielded by the above-described file case 1 can be yielded.

[0060] Notably, this removable structure is also applicable to the storage case 41.

[0061] (3) In the storage case 41, the interior tray member 43 has a width about one-third the width of the body member 42. However, needless to say, the interior tray member 43 may have a different width. For example, two interior tray members 43 may each have a width which is half the width of the body member 42, so that the two interior tray members 43, when attached to the body member 42, cover the entire top-end opening of the body member 42.